GTA Clamps Down On Unlicensed Tourism Facilities

Akwasi Agyeman, GTA boss

The Western Regional Directorate of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has begun an exercise to close some accommodation, food, beverage and entertainment facilities operating without registration and licence from the Authority, in the region.

The week-long exercise, with support from the Ghana Police Service, is in line with the Tourism Act 2011 (Act 817) and will include the GTA closing some tourism facilities that had not paid their one per cent Tourism Levy.

Mr. Henry Yeleduor, the Western Regional GTA Director, at the close of the first day of the exercise in Takoradi, said the Authority was mandated by law under the Tourism Act 817, to register and license all tourism enterprises such as hotels, guest houses, hostels, home lodges and restaurants.

Others include travel agencies, entertainment centres, conference facilities, pubs, night clubs, tour companies and car rentals, spas and food joints.

He said about 40 of such facilities in the region had failed to register and secure licences of operation despite several attempts by the Authority to get them to do so.

Mr. Yeleduor explained that per the Legislative Instruments (LI) 2238 and 2239, these facilities were supposed to be registered and licensed by the GTA, but they had refused to do that, while others had also defaulted on their one per cent Tourism Levy.

“We are currently out to undertake an enforcement exercise to shut down these units, and that they have no right to open them until they come to the office to register and secure a licence,” he added.

He advised operators of facilities and owners to ensure they went through the right procedures in acquiring the necessary permits to continue their operations.

The Western Regional GTA Director also cautioned those that had defaulted on the Tourism Levy to ensure they pay all outstanding amounts to avoid having their facilities closed and subsequently surcharged.